What is tempeh?

It’s the world’s best kept protein secret! Tempeh fermentation is a food process that originated in Indonesia 300 years ago and involves taking soybeans, or any other legume, nut, grain or seed, and naturally transforming them into something even more nutritious, delicious and versatile - to ‘better nature’, you might say!

What’s the power of tempeh?

It’s simple really - tempeh is one of the most delicious, nutritious and sustainable foods on the planet, and we just don’t think this is celebrated enough. We think tempeh has the potential to ensure people all over the world meet their protein and fibre needs, without harming the planet in the process. What’s more, it’s also great for the gut!


What does tempeh taste like?

Typically, people describe tempeh as having quite a nutty taste and a very rich, meaty texture. The closest comparisons we’ve heard are southern-fried chicken or fish sticks, however we don’t really think there’s anything else like it which is why it’s such a game-changing food!

How do I cook with tempeh?

Tempeh can be thinly sliced, cut into blocks or even crumbled to resemble a mince. It takes on the flavour of marinades very well, and from then on can be cooked just like meat - it can be fried, steamed, baked, smoked or blackened etc. It’s a very versatile food that adapts well to any kind of cooking.

Tempeh is most commonly cut it into blocks, soaked in a sweet soy sauce marinade and then fried with some chilli, garlic, ginger and lemongrass. Frying it also creates a crisp golden crust around it, while keeping that firm, meaty bite. It’s a must-try! 

For further details, cooking instructions can be found on the packaging of all our products. If you’re looking for some recipe inspiration, check out the Recipes section of our website or have a look at our Instagram.


What can tempeh be cooked with?

With its nutty and meaty flavour, tempeh goes well with all kinds of meals, such as chillis, stir fries, soups, salads, stews etc. It’s also a popular sandwich filler, giving it a delicious, meaty bite! It really is such a versatile food - one of the many reasons we love it and think it has such amazing potential to transform our food system.

Where can I buy your products?

Our products aren’t available to buy quite yet. We’ll be launching our Tempeh, Lupin Tempeh, Better™ Mince and Better™ Bacon products shortly, so please keep checking on here and on our social media pages for updates. We also have some very exciting new products in the pipeline, so watch this space!

Is tempeh allergen free?

On the whole, yes! Tempeh by itself is totally gluten-free and nut-free however it does, of course, typically contain soybeans. That being said, we’ve done plenty of experimenting with soy-free tempeh, which has worked very well so far. The first soy-free option we’ll be releasing is our Lupin Tempeh, made of protein-rich and delicious lupin beans.

What else can tempeh be made out of?

It can be made out of any legume, nut, grain or seed. We’ve experimented with everything from quinoa to spirulina to chia to chickpeas - we’re reinventing tempeh, so get excited!

Is there any risk to not cooking tempeh properly?

No! Tempeh is totally safe to eat raw, we just think it tastes better cooked. So, don’t be worried about any health risks to not cooking it thoroughly enough - just cook it to your taste!

Does tempeh need to be refrigerated?

Fresh tempeh products do need to be refrigerated, even before they’re opened. Specific storage instructions will be on the packaging of each product.


How long does opened tempeh last?

Once tempeh has been opened, it should typically be consumed in about 48 hours. However, please do check out the specific instructions on the packaging as it may vary for different products. Please note, black or grey spots on tempeh are normal and do not indicate spoilage.

Is your tempeh pasteurised? If so, why?

Yes, our tempeh is pasteurised - we do this to make it safer to eat and to keep it fresher for longer!

What impact does pasteurisation have on the nutritional profile of tempeh?

Very little, if any - it's very quick and relatively mild! It certainly doesn’t do anything that wouldn’t then be done when cooking the tempeh. But don’t fear, cooked tempeh is still great for you, explained further below!

How is tempeh gut-friendly?

Tempeh is great for the gut for a number of reasons: 

i) It’s high in fibre, feeding gut microbiota to aid healthy digestion.

ii) It contains remnants of microorganisms from its fermentation that can stimulate the immune system, such as para-probiotics. 

iii) It contains polyphenols that act as antioxidants, catching harmful free radicals found in the gut cells.

Does cooking tempeh affects its nutritional properties?

Raw tempeh, which is commonly eaten in Indonesia, provides a good supply of gut-friendly microorganisms like probiotics, and these are lost when it’s cooked. The polyphenols mentioned in the previous question are also reduced when cooking. However, the rest of the nutritional benefits of tempeh like its fibre content, the remnants of microorganisms, its protein content and so on, are all maintained after cooking. Happy days!

How is tempeh made?

  1. Tempeh production begins by soaking, dehulling and partly cooking soybeans (or any other legumes, nuts, grains or seeds of your choosing)

  2. The soybeans are then mixed with a 100% natural fungal starter culture

  3. The beans are later spread into a thin layer and are allowed to ferment for 24 to 36 hours at a temperature of about 30°C (we’ve developed technology to make this process faster, without compromising nutritional value and actually enhancing the taste!). 

  4. Later, the temperature of the beans will naturally rise and rapid mold growth occurs for about 4 hours. As mold growth declines, the soybeans are bound into a solid mass by the mycelium.

What is your approach to sustainability?

Sustainability is a priority in everything we do. Being a start-up, we can’t always be perfect, but we’re always doing our best and striving to be better. Our mission is to be the most sustainable, ethically-minded company we can, and we’re currently creating a Sustainability & Ethics Policy to help us implement this, which we’ll be sharing as soon as it’s ready. If you have any questions regarding this or any suggestions for us, please do get in touch at hello@betternaturefoods.co.

Where do you source your legumes?

We either source our soybeans ProTerra and fairtrade certified soybeans from Brazil and Germany which are dedicated to minimising waste, ensuring fair prices and prioritising environmental protection.

Where are you based?

We’re based in London in the UK, but our team works all over the world. We also have team members in Jakarta and Bogor in Indonesia, Boston in the US, Galway in Ireland and Nottingham in the UK. We’re a company with Indonesian roots but an international perspective and ambition, as reflected in our team!